I guess the gang over at Everquest really liked the look of Runescape’s 2007-styled server, because they've just launched their own similar server called RageFire. Kind of. And it’s bringing back 1999-styled ... read
Columbus Nova wastes no time turning the asshole knob to 11
// Jason Faulkner
Last Monday, venerable MMO studio Sony Online Entertainment was sold to Columbus Nova investment firm as part of Sony's on going restructuring. Not even two weeks later, an unknown number of employees have reportedly been lai... read
EverQuest II is approaching its 10th anniversary. It originally released in 2004, the same year that Kanye West's genius debut College Dropout dropped.
Altar of Malice brings with it a new playable race, the Areakyn. They off... read
EverQuest has been going strong since 1999. That's when the Slim Shady LP and "Thong Song" released. Or, much better, Black on Both Sides. It will be getting its 21st expansion, The Darkened Sea, on October 28 for All-Access ... read
Sony Online Entertainment has shared a video highlighting some of the cool things users have made in Everquest Next Landmark. On top of cool looking structures, users have been bending the rules by creating micro-voxels and ... read
Sony Online Entertainment is launching a new membership plan today that will give subscribers access to its games -- all of the major ones, essentially -- for $14.99 per month.
That's EverQuest, EverQuest II, DC Universe Onli... read
Apr 11 //
My love affair with MMOs started in the '90s when Ultima Online was released. Regarded as one of the greatest RPGs of all time, Ultima had it all -- player-ran economies, ganking, bounties for hunting down said gankers, books that could be written by actual players and sold for gold, dungeons, world events, politics, player housing -- you name it. Many of these mechanics wouldn't even be possible in current MMOs due to technical limitations, but Ultima sprouted countless stories that couldn't be experienced anywhere else.
I got into a lot of trouble in Ultima, mostly due to the acts of hanging out with my player-killing, house-swindling friend, who used to con people out of their wares and cash. The entire game was basically policed and governed by the players, which was an unreal feeling amidst the typical linear world of gaming. I actually felt bad when I killed my first and only innocent player deep into the forest and took all his loot.
Here, the healthy feeling of escapism was alive and well, as you were able to live out your wildest digital dreams. Heck, if you really wanted to you could play the entire game as a merchant, providing others with tools, gaining a reputation, brokering information, and writing novels -- it was insane. This was my gateway.
But it wasn't until World of Warcraft that I really started branching out into the "massive" side of things. I had just started college when WoW hit, and as a result of my new relationship (with the lovely woman who eventually became my wife) and my desire to do well in my first year at school, I refrained from playing more than casually -- mostly leveling through beta and hopping on every so often on a low-level character when I had free time.
Once the Burning Crusade expansion dropped, things changed a bit. Most of my friends had quit the game due to poor grades, and my best friend (who hadn't played prior to this arrangement) made me an offer I couldn't refuse -- we would casually play WoW together, level a pair of characters, and see what we had been missing all this time. Minutes of play became hours; hours, days; days, weeks.
We made our way up to level 70 so quickly that I had decided to completely ditch my first character (an Orc Shaman) and level an alternate (a Draenai Priest) to help my chances of joining a guild -- a character that eventually became my new main. I had gone completely overboard -- our rule of "no raiding" turned into "once a week," then "twice a week," but "only 10-man dungeons."
That eventually turned into us joining the top guild on the server and joining the first string raid squad, that raided two to three times a week. Given the rigorous application process (that probably sounds ridiculous to all of you out there), we had to completely change our attitude. Now we had to learn our full rotations (order of spells/abilities), theorycraft (research and look up viable strategies) in our free time, and teach others how to more effectively use our class (which often involved writing guides). It was basically a job that paid nothing -- but we had a blast doing it.
There's nothing quite like joining up with 24 other people for a raid, having fireside chats about what was going on in our life, and feeling a real sense of community. Wipes (full party deaths) were rare since we were so disciplined, but every so often we hit a snag -- only to overcome it within a week's time. To many, this sounds droll and unexciting. But if you find the right group of people, the feeling is indescribable when you best something for the first time with a giant collective of friends that have the same goal as you.
I hit an absolute high when we were the server-first kill for Illidan -- a huge part of the Warcraft lore in general and the toughest boss in the game at the time. It was then that I started to slowly ease off of MMOs to plan for my wedding, effectively ending my career as a "full-timer" for quite some time.
I would keep playing MMOs though for years to come, usually only getting max level and stopping before I got the itch to raid. Dark Age of Camelot, Conan (yuck), Warhammer Online, EVE, Rift, The Old Republic, TERA, Secret World, Aion, Lord of the Rings Online, Guild Wars 2, Elder Scrolls Online -- you name it, I've probably played it. But one particular MMO really brought me back in recently -- Final Fantasy XIV -- the second time around, that is, when it relaunched.
Something clicked with me while playing A Realm Reborn. The art style is beautiful, the music is outstanding, and the battle system is a bit more action-oriented than most MMOs -- to the point where I'm heavily reminded of Phantasy Star Online. It doesn't help that it has a healthy serving of nostalgia either! Right now I'm in the process of joining up with a few of my old MMO buddies (including one that I played Ultima with way back when) to start endgame content and really kick things off. Things will never be the same now that I'm not a college student anymore, but the call of the genre is unending -- in some ways, I'm a "lifer."
While I understand that MMOs don't appeal to everyone, I've had far too many fond memories with them to give them up. I've made friends that have stood up at my wedding. I've learned multiple videogame mechanics and concepts that have served me well as a writer and as a gamer. As ridiculous as it sounds, these games also taught me some form of responsibility, showing up on time for raids and owning up to my actions.
It's for these reasons and more that MMOs bring me joy.
From AOEs to Zul'Farrak Read this list and let me know if it sounds like a good time.
Crunching numbers in the wee hours of the night to maximize damage output. Grinding out levels and letting auto-attack handle things for a few seconds while you pl... read feature
Including games like PlanetSide 2 and EverQuest Next
// Jordan Devore
Writing to PlanetSide 2 players about future plans for subscriptions, Sony Online Entertainment president John Smedley teased the possibility of one sub that would span all of the company's games on PC. "We are considering (a... read
EverQuest co-designer Brad McQuaide ended his most recent stint with Sony Online Entertainment last August and is now working on Pantheon: Rise of the Fallen. Does anyone get anything out of all these similar sounding fantasy... read
Right now, it's a pretty popular option to let subscribers of free-to-play games pay a monthly fee to get extra stuff on top of the F2P experience. Players of EverQuest, EverQuest II, and PlanetSide 2 currently get 500 "Stati... read
Sony Online Entertainment president John Smedley has pinned the EverQuest Next Landmark alpha as happening next month. "It's looking like [the alpha] is going to start sometime in the last half of January," he tweeted. That's... read
SOE just released a quick video that answers the question, "what is EverQuest Next Landmark?" Well, it's a game of exploration, monsters to fight, and building just about anything you want. The video shows off building a hou... read
The Christmas issue of PC Gamer UK dives into some details on the upcoming EverQuest Next. One of those details is a list of known classes, which includes Cleric, Necromancer, Beast Lord, and Tempest.
Here are the description... read
Some of the developers from Sony Online Entertainment sat down and livestreamed about EverQuest Next for almost an hour. If you have any interest in this game, this is a great place to learn a lot. They dive into detail... read
The Founder's Packs for EverQuest Next Landmark are now available for purchase should you have money sitting around and a desire to send it Sony Online Entertainment's way. There are three tiers -- $19.99, $59.99, and $99.99 ... read
EverQuest Next posted a developer diary yesterday, showing off what the materials and tools will look like in Landmark. Players will start off with a copper pickaxe, and they will be able to start harvesting basic materials ... read
EverQuest: Call of the Forsaken brings a new story, new zones, new items, and plenty of tweaks to gameplay today. It's available for $39.99 in a no-frills package, or for $89.99 as a Collector's Edition, which includes bonus ... read
Well, this is happening. EverQuest II is letting players just straight up buy a level 85 Heroic character. No grinding, just throw down real cash and you'll get a high level character along with 280 AA points. There's also a... read
Aug 03 //
Papa Niero [embed]259339:49858:0[/embed]
SOEMote with a beauty and the beastly
The face-tracking technology called SOEMote was confirmed to be headed to Everquest Next, said game director Dave Georgeson. The tech was unveiled at E3 last year and is currently available to the public for free in Eve... read feature
The Destructoid Show sleeps through its alarm sometimes
// Max Scoville
Hey everybody! I'm wearing a really stupid shirt, it must be Friday!
Suddenly, there are two new Everquest Next games on the horizon, and they look really cool. Quakecon is happening right now, and there's some Bethesda news... read
During last night's SOE Live keynote, president John Smedley gave the gossip-starved EverQuest fans one dangling carrot: an early taste of the game's musical score and some face time with legendary musical composer Jeremy So... read
Even Vegas isn't big enough for these expectations
How do you follow up a game that has captivated so many people for 15 for completely different reasons? Its not a task Sony Online Entertainment has taken to lightly: EverQuest Next has been scrapped twice since 2008 and is ... read feature
Sony Online Entertainment's SOE Live event has just begun in Las Vegas. The big reveal for this event is Everquest Next, and it's an MMO the world "has never seen before" according to SOE President John Smedley. What exactly ... read
Second wives, prepare your divorce papers: EverQuest Next is being unveiled this week.
Sony Online Entertainment kicks off their annual "SOE Live" game expo at 7pm tomorrow in Las Vegas, and I can barely ... read
Apr 09 //
Metro 2033 (2010)
By far the most popularly acknowledged omission from the original list was Metro 2033. It seemed like no one could get it running properly, no matter how impressive their hardware was. The exact reason for this is unknown, but most chalk it up to a poorly-optimized engine. Regardless, Metro 2033 wasn't a game that many experienced at full capacity.
System Shock 2 (1999)
Before its GOG.com release, System Shock 2 was one of the greatest offenders of this topic. A top-of-the-line computer wasn't necessarily enough to play it; it required the user to manually change the number of active processors within the game itself, which is a less-than-ideal way to be able to play a game.
The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind (2002)
Morrowind was a technical achievement of the early 2000s, and the number of awards it won reflected that. The game's world was praised for being expansive and detailed. However, it's this same level of detail that caused it to run at a low frame rate for many players. It was somewhat ironic that what was supposed to be a source of immersion was just a source of frustration for a lot of users.
Before Crysis existed, F.E.A.R. was the go-to example for famously hard to run games. It was the first game created on Monolith's LithTech Jupiter EX engine. The engine was very advanced for its time with regard to physics and texture-rendering. However, it came at a price. Jupiter EX wreaked havoc on most PCs as it was extremely resource intensive.
EverQuest II (2004)
As an MMORPG, it's not surprising that EverQuest II featured a lot of player interaction. However, when the game came out, hardly any computer could handle it without a drop in performance when there was a lot of action on-screen. Far from optimal for a title that puts such an emphasis on group battles.
Cryostasis: Sleep of Reason (2009)
You can pretty much throw your specs out the window on this one. Cryostasis isn't just difficult to run; it's actually considered to be one of the most poorly-optimized games ever. It's a shame too, as the psychological horror game seemed to put a truly interesting narrative on display, but most people couldn't enjoy it, as the technical issues were too much to overlook.
Half-Life 2 (2004)
Even Half-Life 2, a title that's included in every "best game ever" conversation, was tough to run on PC. However, this one wasn't the developers' fault. If you had a rig that was capable, this game worked nicely. It was just that it required some beefy specs at the time of release.
[Image courtesy of pixelwg]
From the community A few months ago, we compiled a list of some of the toughest games to run on PC in honor of the release of Crysis 3. While each of the games listed were certainly troublesome, plenty of additional titles were mentioned in the... read feature
After 13 years, EverQuest is still getting updates. I'd be more amazed if I hadn't written about another update at the beginning of the year. It's looking spry for its age. Its players are also getting a new wardrobe -- ... read
Sony Online Entertainment's long-running MMO went free-to-play last month, and from the looks of recent figures it seems that the move is working out for them. They knew they were on to something late last year when EverQuest... read
Sony has announced details for the annual fan event for players of their massively multiplayer titles. Formerly known as Sony Fan Faire, the long weekend of MMO fandom has been rechristened, "SOE Live." The event, which bring... read
EverQuest II is back with game update 63 coming April 17th! Sony Online Entertainment is adding content to two different expansions: Destiny of Velious and Age of Discovery. In the DoV updates, players will see the level cap ... read